An Interview with Sean Kosofsky, “The Nonprofit Fixer!”

I have known Sean Kosofsky and his excellent work in the nonprofit and DEI sectors for over a decade, and last month I added him to my Business Partners / Affiliation list. Now here is a further discussion with Sean about his work:

STAN: Sean, could you tell me a little bit about your consulting and the unique niche you are serving?
SEAN: Sure. I have spent 30 years in nonprofits and have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t in fundraising, building boards and training executive directors. We tend to throw our nonprofit leaders in the deep end without the right preparation, training or support. I coach nonprofit executive directors and show nonprofit organizations how to develop the policies, programs, and practices that will help them reach their mission.

STAN: How did you get into this business?
SEAN: People just kept asking me for help and I was offering that help for free. Finally, I had about a year break in-between jobs in 2018-2019 and decided to put out my shingle. I formed an LLC and named it Mind the Gap Consulting. Eventually, my moniker became “The Nonprofit Fixer” because I am a generalist and those are needed. I love looking under the hood of an organization and figuring out to help use ever lever in the organization to optimize and improve. A big part of what I do is sell digital tools like courses and templates that I think nonprofits need. Now the business is centered on courses, consulting, coaching and training.

STAN: What do you feel are the most common struggles or issues of nonprofit management?
SEAN: The single biggest problem in nonprofits is the board. They are volunteers who are unpaid and usually not experts in the subject matter or in nonprofit leadership. This means they will need training, orientation, and 101-level training in how to lead a charitable (or political) endeavor. Everything flows from the board. The second issue if fundraising. Nonprofits don’t think about stock price, profit or shareholder value. They think about impact. Paying for that impact is hard and most nonprofits setup shop before they figured out the revenue. It’s like the opposite order that a business might use. If we tackle boards and fundraising we are 2/3 the way there. The final challenge is leadership. I created a great free infographic showing the 10 Top Responsibilities of an executive director. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that this single graphic allowed everything to make sense in terms of the division of labor.

STAN: Since I myself am a DEI consultant and trainer, what diversity areas or aspects are the most important for nonprofits to address? Do you include this in your nonprofit consulting?
SEAN: This is hard because all the areas of diversity need at least some attention. This includes race, disability, age, sex, LGBTQ issues and others. I would probably say that race and sex have equity challenges that are the most pervasive and are creating the most suffering. Our organizations must dismantle racism and sexism so people are treated and paid equitably and that power structures can be changed. I was the top LGBTQ diversity trainer in Michigan from 1996-2008. So of course I think LGBTQ issues matter, but I think it depends. Houses of worship might need more work in some areas and rural organizations might need something totally different. If each organization starts with respect and a commitment to change, they should then put their money and their effort where their mouth is.

STAN: I also know you have a robust set of online courses and resources. Could you tell us a little about that?
SEAN: Not everyone can afford a coach or consultant so I geeked out and committed to taking the most important elements of what I knew and created pre-recorded, on-demand courses for people to learn about leadership, management, board building, fundraising, media skills, and LGBTQ diversity. I even have a course on how to implement the 4-Day workweek because I think nonprofits can excel in the areas of work-life balance since we can’t always compete on salary. I have tons of templates, courses, trainings, and other guides for people to buy and I kept them affordable. They have all received terrific reviews which makes me happy.

Note from Stan:  Please use my affiliate link to peruse all of Sean’s offerings and resources.

STAN: What do you like to do when you are not working?
SEAN: Travel, binging TV shows and Wine. I love my dog, of course but socializing with friends is great for an extrovert like me. My husband Travis opened a whole new world of wine appreciation for me and since we used to live in the Bay, we were close to Sonoma and Napa!!

STAN: How can people reach out or get in touch with you?
SEAN: My home base is but I am on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Email is always best too, [email protected]

STAN: Anything else you would like to tell us?
SEAN: There are 1.5 million nonprofits. We are 10% of the workforce. It’s a huge sector and complicated. If you are involved in a charitable organization, don’t stay stuck. Get help. Your mission is too important to do it alone.
STAN: Thank you Sean for sharing all this important information with me, and I wish you the very best in your very important business serving nonprofits.

Considering a Career Change? Be a Non-Profit CEO!

There is a wide variety of career options within the non-profit sector.

Note: this blog contains an excellent online training opportunity with link toward the end!

Considering your career options! As many of my blog readers know, my consulting practice has two arms – diversity and career development. In terms of career development, I have written about the importance of each individual owning their career, and asking themselves those penetrating questions to explore what they really want to be doing. It is so critical that long term career aligns with one’s passions.

Back in 2011, I published a 3-part blog series about managing careers:

Part 1 (link) introduced the concept and career mapping – including look where you have been and key skills you have developed during the journey.

Part 2 (link) provided several tools for career management, including a simple spreadsheet to evaluate a job’s fit with your career desires and goals.

Part 3 (link) emphasized really understanding yourself and taking ownership of your career journey.

Aligning career and passions – a short case study. So looking back and parts 2 and 3, one of the passions that people may have is helping make the world a better place. For many people, perhaps for you, making a positive impact on the world through your profession may be more important than work location, recognition, and even pay! I once had a mentee who was very unhappy in his high paying IT job at a major company, and later found deep fulfillment as a social worker making half the salary. (This is not to say that all public sector jobs come with a pay cut … but do understand if personal fulfillment or high pay is higher personal priority.)

If making a positive impact on the world is one of your highest career priorities, perhaps a non-profit sector job is for you. They can come in a wide variety of options – advocating for under-served and oppressed minorities, protecting the environment, helping develop our children, working within the arts arena, working within health care and personal well-being …. The options are endless.

Sean Kosofsky, Mind the Gap Consulting, LLC

Enter Sean Kosofsky, non-profit sector professional extraordinaire! One of my business partners who I have known personally for many years, Sean Kosofsky is a true dynamic leader in the non-profit area. His previous job was as Executive Director of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, an organization created by the Clementi family which seeks to prevent bullying through inclusion, assertion of dignity and acceptance as a way to honor the memory of Tyler Clementi: a son, a brother and a friend. A few years ago, I interviewed Sean in this role for a blog about him and the foundation (link.)

Now Sean is a “Nonprofit Fixer.” He’s worked in nonprofits for 25 years and served as executive director for four organizations. He is a coach and consultant for boards, executive directors and activists of all stripes. His experience includes communications, victim-services, civil rights, environment, policy, bullying prevention, lobbying, management and much more.

Sean is passionate about building successful nonprofits. He especially wants to build strong boards and strong nonprofit CEOs. Sean learned how to run non-profits the hard way – by watching it be done wrong. Sean told me, “Being an Executive Director is incredibly rewarding but it is filled with unique challenges. It’s easy to be thrown into the deep end and told to sink or swim. Your bosses are volunteers who don’t even work at the nonprofit.

The training opportunity! So Sean is offering this online Executive Director Boot Camp course to fill a real gap in our sector…proper preparation for anyone interested in running a nonprofit. No fluff. No theory. No ice breakers. We get down to business with concrete tools and solid wisdom needed to succeed. Most executive directors would have killed to have this info before they started.”

You can learn more about the course and sign up at